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Something I Read FromThe Quakers 
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Post Something I Read FromThe Quakers
Ever since I have been with ULC in the UK, I have taken an interest in the Quakers. Recently I read a very informative paper (pamphlet) entitled "A Quaker's Response to Christian Fundamentalism" by Sallie B. King who is Professor Philosophy and Religion at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and she also serves on the steering committee of the Quaker Universalist Fellowship.

This is a very interesting article. Even though written to help Quakers face the challenges of Christian fundamentalism, it helped me to better understand the Quaker point of view. She makes a very well written presentation of what is essentially Christian fundamentalism quoting from different sources.

She says the following about the difference between Quakerism and Christian fundamentalism: "The key poin for understanding the differences between Quakerism and Christian fundamentalism is our respective views on human nature, on what a human being most fundamentally is. [u]Quakers emmphasize the divine Light within. Fundamenalists emphasize human sinfulness.[u]

What I most enjoyed was how she summarizes the contrast between liberal Quakers and Chrisian fundamentalism. The following are her words:

"1. Liberal Quakers emphasize the Light Within. Fundamentalists emphasize the sinfulness of human nature.

"2. Liberal Quakers emphasize that humankind is made in the image of God. Fundamentalists emphasize the story of the Fall.

"3. Liberal Quakers see a principle of moral and spiritual purity within us. Fundamentalist do not.

"4. Liberal Quakers take an optimistic view of human nature. Fundamentalists take a pessimistic view.

"5. Liberal Quakers believe that we can do something good and pure, free of sin (though we also do bad things). To fundamentalists, all our actions are sinful, no matter what."

I was impressed how she presented these five points, because the view of human nature in Hindu Vedanta is similar to the view of human nature of the liberal Quakers. In Hindu Vedanta the following is stated:

1. We are guided by an Inner Light we call Atman.

2. Atman is our True Nature and It is of the same substance as Brahman (God)... we are essentially Divine.

3. Because we are essentially Divine, the principle of "moral and spiritual purity" abides within us.

4. Like liberal Quakers Hindu Vedanta has an optimistic view of human nature; we have temporarily lost our awareness of our Divine Nature, but we can restore our Divine awareness through Faith and Effort.

5. Hindu Vedanta tells us that when we contact the Inner Light (Atman) our acts, words, and thoughts will be free of all "ignorance and evil" (sin).

Someday I will have the honor to worship with my Quaker sisters and brothers.

Hermano Luis
Moriviví Hermitage

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The Tejabindu Upanishad


Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:11 am
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Post Re: Something I Read FromThe Quakers
Thank you Hermano,
One other thing I feel Liberals of all persuasions have is their openness to learn from the other person (no matter their viewpoint), (it is the seeking of God within them), whilst the fundamentalist feels they already know what is essential and it for them to convince the other person that they are wrong and should change.
Another Quaker saying is "the snuffing out of the light of another diminishes us all".
I wonder how much light in this world would be lost should all light be removed unless it conforms to one creed.


Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:21 pm
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Post Re: Something I Read FromThe Quakers
Pete wrote:
Thank you Hermano,
One other thing I feel Liberals of all persuasions have is their openness to learn from the other person (no matter their viewpoint), (it is the seeking of God within them), whilst the fundamentalist feels they already know what is essential and it for them to convince the other person that they are wrong and should change.
Another Quaker saying is "the snuffing out of the light of another diminishes us all".
I wonder how much light in this world would be lost should all light be removed unless it conforms to one creed.


It is interesting that you mention this, because next to my bed there is a small night table with books from different religions. These are my "favorite" books. The authors are well know in their religions, and each of these authors has contributed something spiritually beautiful to my life. Yet each of them comes from very diverse traditions. I continue to grow spiritually, for I feel that the Light, Love, and Power of God is manifested in one way or another in every religion of the world.

Hermano Luis

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Is to be freed from all conditioning."

The Tejabindu Upanishad


Thu Dec 24, 2009 8:44 pm
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Post Re: Something I Read FromThe Quakers
Like you, I have books from many differing faiths. I admit I do not always understand every to the level of a follower of each religion but I do find them all inspiring. I think it is an important thing to look at what others find inspiring and that way we begin to realise what a big family we have. When people only look at one thing I feel they can become narrow and only recognise family who follow the one viewpoint.


Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:48 pm
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Post Re: Something I Read FromThe Quakers
Thanks fellas, I enjoyed your posts.
The Liberal points are reminiscent of certain
Gnostic points. I will have to do a bit of research,
but I hope to explain later.

P.S. Happy New Year!

Hex


Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:26 am
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Post Re: Something I Read FromThe Quakers
I look forward to that Hex. I guess being open is the ability to not have to rule things in or out but awaiting on what God brings us to. That is something I find many Gnostics seem to agree with.


Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:23 am
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